One of the nagging problems of the United States, along with concerts given by the Rolling Stones and where to put incoming Haitians, is what to do about Cuba. Cuba is somewhat smaller than the state of Florida but claims to have more Cubans. It also is very poorly placed, being too close to Miami.Skip to next paragraph
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The island would have been better off, many aver, situated just off the eastern coast of Mexico. Here it would be quickly overrun by wetback Mexican workers and in time force all the Cuban farmers to be capitalists. The Army Corps of Engineers, when questioned by this column, stated that such a solution would be economically unfeasible.
Cuba does have a somewhat negative fame. It is where most of the American hijacked airplanes land. There the hijacker is usually removed and put in jail, while the rest of the 70, 80, or 90 passengers return to the US singing ''God Bless America.''
This whole process is a puzzling thing, because anyone whose ambition is only to be in jail in Havana could certainly have the same amount of misery in New York, with a much lighter sentence. Besides, if anyone wanted to go to Cuba that badly he would be better off just stealing the money for a charter air fare instead of a whole 737.
Another thing Cuba is famous for is raising huge quantities of sugar. There is no real market for Cuban sugar, but Cubans continue to grow it, because it is the one thing they are quite good at. Since sugar is a glut on the market, the Soviet Union has agreed to take it off their hands, thus giving the average hard-pressed Russian the extremely high standard of living represented by being required to put 15 spoons of sugar into each cup of tea.
President Reagan could probably put up with all this nonsense if it weren't for the fact that the Soviet Union uses this Cuban real estate as a staging area to feed arms into Central America, and as a base for Soviet aircraft to conduct close surveillance of anything flying along the American coast. Needless to say, a study of this unpleasant situation is being made.
After it was discovered the average income for a Cuban (other than Castro) was only about $850 as compared with $8,500 for a Japanese, the possibility of gradually buying up the island through a third party, say, Disney World or Bob Hope, was suggested. But probably nothing will come of it. The only thing sweeter to Russians than sugar is a military edge.